5 Tips for Effective Online Advertising

Advertising can sometimes be a necessary evil, but who said it had to be evil advertisements, just like any other interface element, make up a user experience and a user experience is made good or bad based on how we meet user needs. So here’s five tips for effectively advertising on the Web. Tip number one, be polite. Pretend your advertisements are uninvited. Dinner guests Tuesday. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

I believe one of you has a browser history that indicates you are interested in the world’s best humidifier. You’ve got 10 hours of the best, nonstop, deep, wonderful breathing.

You wouldn’t want to barge into somebody’s house dinner with a prepared speech and interrupt what everyone’s doing just so you can say what you need to say instead, just let your guests or in this case, your users continue to browse the site, get some value. And when they’re ready, they’ll take a look and hopefully engage with your at tip number two, don’t delay the delivery of content. Users have come to your site to accomplish a task. Don’t get in the way of that task. The user’s going to know even if you have some type of gateway advertisement that says click here in order to access content. Either way, you’re adding an extra step in the process and users are going to see right through that. So instead, just put your content in a place where users expect it off into the right rail or even at the footer when the user has already engaged with content and now has the opportunity to look into more interesting and related content. Tip number three, prioritize the real estate on your site for high value interactions. And that doesn’t mean putting a giant advertisement on the front page. If you do things like that, like interrupt content in the middle of the page with an advertisement, it might put forward the message that the company values profits over the user. We want the user to feel confident that they’re in the right place and that the company has their best interests at heart. Tip number four limit any unwelcome surprises. Sometimes the designers, in an effort to do something creative, will do something unconventional, maybe something avant garde or cutting edge, something that nobody else is doing. Well, that definitely might win some design awards. It won’t always go well with users. When users come to a site, they’re looking for answers to their questions. And if they see something that’s unexpected or jarring, something out of context, they’re not going to necessarily want to proceed further. They might look at another company to do their business instead. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Stick to conventions and strategies that are backed by data. Lastly, tip number five don’t compete with the primary content and handset. If your users reading an article on your website and they get to the bottom of your website, you can pretty much guarantee the user is interested in this content.

So what would make more sense giving the user an ad for a bag they shopped for maybe a week ago, or show them an advertisement for something related to what they’re reading right now, give the user something they can act on that would be a lot more effective. So when you’re considering different advertisement strategies, use these five tips and see if they can help you make a better user experience.

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